Citrix NetScaler meets the need for speed
Version 8 of Citrix's Web application delivery appliance combines rich acceleration features and easy administration, offering a good value to large and busy sites
The NetScaler provides a wide variety of monitoring tools for ensuring that Web applications are running properly, protection tools to shield Web and application servers against attacks, and logging tools to gather historical data on traffic and watch for suspicious behavior. A sophisticated policy engine lets you route traffic based on content, source, destination, and more. A nice feature called SureConnect can display a progress bar or special page if responses from a Web server are taking longer than usual.
Compared to the competing solutions I've tested, NetScaler offers the greatest variety of acceleration technologies, with the Juniper DX a close second and the Zeus ZXTM not far behind, although both the Juniper and the Zeus solutions lag the NetScaler in ease of use. NetScaler offers a sophisticated set of management features, on a par with F5 Networks' BIG-IP and Zeus, but falling a notch short of Juniper, which offers superior logging and reporting, better scripting, and even automation technologies that make it very easy to secure a Web site by moving to SSL without recoding the site. NetScaler also includes great security tools, both for implementing security connections with clients and preventing attacks on Web and application servers.
The NetScaler is not a system you’ll be using to set up one small, three-node Web farm that will be lightly loaded. It will do that, but so will the Coyote Point e550, at a much lower cost. The NetScaler will handle large, heavily trafficked Web sites, and can greatly improve the performance of critical Web applications. For organizations making corporate applications available over the Web for internal or external customers, the NetScaler can really deliver outstanding performance.